tv PBS News Hour PBS September 26, 2013 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT
. . captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> woodruff: battle lines hardened over federal spending today, a bill to fund the government looks set to clear the senate, but house speaker john boehner warned his chamber may block it. good evening, i'm judy woodruff. >> ifill: and i'm gwen ifill. also ahead, iran and the u.s. held the highest level face-to- face meetings in more than 30 years, each side reaching out to break the diplomatic ice. >> woodruff: and in film, in journalism, even on the farm, the interns work hard. paul solman reports on the legal debate over whether they should get paid. >> you get tons of new experience and on top of that you get to make new connections and really build your resume. >> i knew the work i was doing was exactly the same work that i had previously done, except that
now i was doing it for free. it's not right, and you can do something about it if you want to. >> ifill: those are just some of the stories we're covering on tonight's "pbs newshour." >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: ♪ ♪ moving our economy for 160 years. bnsf, the engine that connects us. >> and by the alfred p. sloan foundation. supporting science, technology, and improved economic performance and financial literacy in the 21st century.
>> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: our lead story tonight: neither side gave ground in washington's war over preventing a government shutdown next week. the senate worked on a bill to fund government operations, while republicans in the house kept demanding an end to funding for president obama's health care reform law. "newshour" congressional correspondent kwame holman begins our coverage. >> i do not see that happening. >> reporter: speaker john boehner immediately quashed any notion house republicans would accept a stopgap spending bill from the democratic-controlled senate that simply removes a provision de-funding the health care law.
boehner would not lay out republican demands, but he did insist again that they want to keep the government running. >> i've made it clear now for months and months and months that we have no interest in seeing a government shut down. but we've got to address the spending problems that we have in this town. and so there will be options available to us. >> reporter: back in the senate, democratic leader harry reid said house republicans are unsure what to do. >> if anyone here thinks the republicans in the house have a workable plan to avert a shutdown on monday, tell me about it. i get all kinds of reports from them. "we're going to do this, we're going to do that." so, we'll have to see what they decide to do because right now they don't know. >> reporter: the senate headed toward a vote tomorrow to strip out the "de-fund obamacare" provision. republican minority leader mitch mcconnell, urged democrats to break with their party on the issue. >> this law is a mess.
it needs to go. so i hope some of our democratic friends will look themselves in the mirror and think, truly think, about whether protecting the president's pride is really more important than helping the american people. >> reporter: meanwhile house republicans readied a separate proposal raising the nation's debt limit, but they also attached a one-year delay of the health care law. president obama denounced that strategy during an event in largo, maryland. >> the entire world looks to us to make sure that the world economy is stable. you don't mess with that. ( applause ) you don't mess with that. and that's why i will not negotiate on anything when it comes to the full faith and credit of the united states of america.
( applause ) >> reporter: the immediate focus, though, is staving off a government shutdown. the stopgap spending bill is expected to win final senate passage by saturday, leaving the next move up to the house. >> woodruff: in another development, the obama administration announced new delays in opening health care exchanges to the uninsured next tuesday. it said small businesses and a latino enrollment service will not be able to enroll online for several weeks. we'll have more on the spending fight and on obamacare later, but first, the other news of the day. the u.s. and russia reached agreement late today on the wording of a u.n. resolution on disposing of syria's chemical arsenal. the u.s. ambassador to the united nations, samantha power, said the measure would be legally obligating on damascus to surrender all chemical weapons. the full u.n. security council is meeting tonight on the
resolution. also at the u.n., the u.s. and the other permanent members of the security council resumed nuclear talks with iran. the session is aimed at setting up a new round of full-scale negotiations, probably next month. more on this, later in the program. the death toll from tuesday's massive earthquake in southwestern pakistan kept rising today to 355. people were still digging through the rubble of flattened villages, looking for belongings. survivors pleaded for aid and medical attention, and many complained help is not getting to remote areas. >> ( translated ): 48 hours have passed. the people here have nothing to eat. they don't have clean drinking water. no government teams have reached us so far. >> woodruff: the pakistani interior minister said today security problems are making it hard for rescuers. hours later, a government
helicopter surveying the quake damage narrowly missed being hit by two rockets. they were fired on by militants seeking independence for baluchistan. in iraq, a new round of bombings killed nearly two dozen people and wounded scores more. the attacks continued a wave of violence that's claimed nearly 6,000 lives this year. most of today's victims died at a marketplace in a shi-ite village north of baghdad. the somali extremist group that attacked a shopping mall in nairobi, kenya, has struck again. al-shabaab fighters assaulted two kenyan towns near the border with somalia today, killing three people. meanwhile, kenyans have begun burying the 67 confirmed dead in the mall siege. we have a report from lindsey hilsum of "independent television news." >> reporter: a hindu funeral for
the marketing the director for one of kenya's biggest companies. international attention has turned to the investigation, but many here are still deep in mourning. mr. shah had the chance to escape from the top floor of west gate but he stayed to try and protect children there. this is just one of 67 funerals and we don't know how many more there will be because an unknown number of bodies are still lying in the rubble at west gate. people in kenya are going through grief, but also fear and uncertainty because the government still hasn't answered so many of their questions. the m.p. for the area-- paralyzed in a carjacking incident a few years back-- is angry about the intelligence failure that led to a terror attack in his constituency. >> they are not up to the job then we must get them out and get people who can work.
because if you are there, you are there to protect their lives and property and you're not doing it. >> reporter: the kenyan defense force released these pictures showing wrecked car which is tumbled down from the roof car park when it collapsed. we still don't know why. today foreign forensic teams were seen on the sight. others, including americans and germans arrived at the mortuary to examine bodies for clues, a painstaking process that would take some time. >> woodruff: al-shabaab is known to have recruited among somalis living in the u.s. but in washington today, attorney general eric holder played down the potential for a domestic attack. >> i would not say that we have any specific, credible evidence that al-shabaab is planning to do anything in the united states. i'm not sure if they have the capacity to do anything in the united states. it doesn't mean, however, that we're not taking the threat that they pose as we are taking that as a serious one. >> woodruff: holder also said there is no evidence that
americans were involved in planning the nairobi attack. there will be no freedom for former liberian president charles taylor. the one-time leader looked on today as the international criminal court upheld his convictions for war crimes and crimes against humanity. he'd been found guilty of aiding rebels in sierra leone during a bloody civil war. prosecutor brenda hollis welcomed the court's announcement, in the netherlands. >> this final decision affirms taylor's responsibility for grave crimes which caused untold suffering to many thousands, if not tens of thousands of victims in sierra leone. today's judgment brings some measure of justice to those victims who suffered so horribly because of charles taylor. >> woodruff: taylor's conviction carries a 50-year prison sentence. a former montana high school teacher was released from prison today, after serving just 30 days for raping a student. stacey rambold was convicted of
assaulting a 14-year-old girl, who later committed suicide. a state judge sentenced him in august, and appeared to suggest the girl was partly to blame for the rape. prosecutors are appealing for a longer sentence. in economic news, first-time jobless claims fell last week, coming close to their lowest levels in six years. that gave a boost to wall street. the dow jones industrial average gained 55 points to close at 15,328. the nasdaq rose 26 points to close at 3,787. >> woodruff: still to come on the "newshour": how deals actually get done on capital hill; reading the new push for diplomacy between the u.s. and iran; the legal battles over the value of interns; what health care reform means for medicare; an execution in china that's sparked outrage online and wild tales from graham nash's life in rock n' roll.
>> ifill: as kwame reported, high noon appears to be approaching in congress. but what's the fight really about? health care? funding government? paying our debts? and who has the upper hand? for a look at what's playing out behind the scenes, we turn to two capitol veterans who've spent their fair share of time in the backrooms where the deals are made. ron bonjean, who worked as communications director for former house speaker dennis hastert and chief of staff for the senate republican conference. and jim manley, who was a top advisor to senate majority leader harry reid and press secretary for the late senator ted kennedy. you guys have been in the battles before, you're happily on the sidelines now but as you watch the two debateds, ron bonjean, approaching, the government, the debt limit next month, funding the government, which is potentially more damaging for which party?
>> right now i think shutting down the government would be much more damaging for the republican party. but let me say this: republicans want to negotiate with the president over avoiding all of this. they want to talk about reducing spending, they want to talk about delaying obamacare and the president is saying he won't negotiate and to republicans that is very surprising consider that the president is the saying he will negotiate with syria, will negotiate wpl vladimir putin and his secretary of state will be talking to iran. and why isn't he picking up the phone and calling john boehner. >> ifill: let me ask jim manley that question. we heard the president saying he's not going to negotiate about the full faith and credit of the u.s. government and john boehner said it doesn't work that way. >> well, he's about to find out that things have changed. the president learned a valuable lesson after his negotiations in 2011 with speaker boehner over the so-called debt limit then. he learned that you can't negotiate with hostage takers
and that probably more importantly that speaker boehner doesn't have the ability to move his caucus. what they are trying to do right now is attach everything to the kitchen sink and see what sticks. to your question earlier, i think that the debt limit is clearly the most cataclysmic for the republican party. again, calling into question the full faith and credit of the united states government, raising the specter of the economy tanking, 401(k)s going down as well. very, very dangerous game for the republicans. >> ifill: part of what we've seen play out on the capitol hill is trying to priorities those two fights. what is the current strategy for the republicans? >> they're developing the "courant" strategy. as of right now the c.r. is primary. >> ifill: the c.r.? >> continuing resolution, funding the government is coming first likely because we believe that the senate will vote on this and send it over to the house where they'll have to consider what to do next.
the debt ceiling fight will come after that because treasury secretary jack lew said that the government treasury will default on october 17. so at this point we -- the two are delinked. we'll see what happens. they could be joined together if the continuing resolution is put forward closer to the debt ceiling. >> ifill: one of the things that ties these two issues togethering is this fight over health care. is this -- the fight has been so far in the house and the senate about whether to link defunding the affordable health care act from these two issues. is there really a connection? >> i respectfully suggest not. and i say that in part because i spent a lot of time working to put togethering that bill when i worked in the senate. the fact of the matter is is that the only reason they are trying to do this is they're trying to hurt -- go right at one of the key accomplishments of this president's agenda. they refuse to accept the results of the 2008 and 2012
elections where president obama won and they are doing everything they can to muddy the waters as they move toward the october 1 deadline. >> ifill: whose hot potato is this really, ron? >> this is going to be president obama's hot potato pretty soon because the republicans are likely going to have a delay of obamacare either on the continuing resolution or as part of this debt ceiling package and you know, the obamacare -- the obamacare law itself is already becoming delayed. we may not have to delay it at all. i mean, today we had small business exchanges, it was announced they're going to be delayed. yesterday it was the d.c. exchanges that are going to be delayed. so i really think that this is going to be in president obama's court soon. you can't say you won't negotiate with the republican house. you can until a deal needs to be reached. we're on precipice of defaulting on our debt and the republicans are willing to negotiate. the president is in charge of the country. americans will be very upset if
we went over that cliff. >> ifill: jim? >> the president doesn't have anyone to negotiate with right now. speaker boehner is incapable of controlling his cause of action and senator mcconnell, the republican leader of the senate, is so afraid of facing a tea party challenge that he's all but m.i.a. from the senate right now. and, again, the president has said both privately and publicly that he's not going to negotiate with hostage-takers so the sooner the house republicans figure that out and get their act together, the better country going to be. >> ifill: is this fight among republicans-- we saw a minor spectacle on the senate floor today between two republicans fighting about when this vote should happen-- doesn't seem like the democrats are part of this fight at all sometimes. >> that's right. right now you see a side fight going on about how they should proceed and behind the scenes but the fight is over obamacare. it's over now most likely delaying it. and republicans are on the side of the american people. the majority of americans don't like obamacare. they're very confused by it and it's scaring a lot of people.
>> ifill: what do you say to that? >> well, again, the fact of the matter is that what we've seen in the last week is nothing but a waste of time. nothing they can do legislatively can undermine obamacare. it's going to go into effect on october 1 and any threat to cause the government to default on the debt in mid-october is destined to fail and they're going to play a terrible political price. >> ifill: is the government going to shut down? >> i don't think so. i think both parties will find consensus on this. president -- >> ifill: how can there be consensus if there's no negotiationing? >> i think that's right for now. but as they get closer and closer to the shutdown i think we are not going to shut down. i have a lot of confidence we're not going to shut down. i don't feel a crystal ball and can tell you that but speaker boehner said no, absolutely not. he does not want to shut this down. he wants to negotiate with the democrats. he wants to negotiate with the president. but the president keeps drawing a red line.
>> ifill: jim, what is your gut? >> my gut tells me somehow-- i have no idea how-- they'll find a a way to avoid a government shutdown. having said that, there are published reports that the house republicans don't jet the votes to pass the debt limit plan they wanted to pass in the next couple days. the fact of the matter is it's going to take some time for them to sort it all out. we'll maybe have a one week c.r. while republicans try to get their act together internally. >> ifill: buy some time? >> buy some time. the. >> ifill: ron bonjean, jim manley. thank you both. >> thank you. >> woodruff: for the first time in more than 30 years, the most senior diplomats of the united states and iran are talking face to face. secretary of state john kerry and foreign minister mohammad javad zarif, plus other foreign ministers
iran's nuclear program and international sanctions against the country. iran's president hassan rouhani says he wants to reach an agreement in three to six months. and this morning at the u.n., he called on israel to join the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and on all nations to abandon nuclear arms. >> ( translated ): a peaceful and secure world remains a shared ideal for us all. the horrors of hiroshima and nagasaki deepened our resolve to prevent the occurrence of such unspeakable death and destruction. no nation should possess nuclear weapons. since there are no right hands for these wrong weapons, the only absolute guarantee is their total elimination. >> woodruff: given the outreach, how should the u.s. proceed? we get three views. suzanne maloney studies iran and the middle east at the brookings institution. flynt leverett is a professor of international affairs at penn state university. and reuel marc gerecht is a senior fellow with the foundation for defense of democracies.
welcome to the newshour all three. you know, we're here to talk about iran, but let me first begin the news that there may be a deal that's been reached between the united states and russia over getting syria to give up control of its chemical weapons. reuel garecht, if that's happened, does that have an effect on the iran talks? >> no, i don't think so. i mean, i don't think it's likely that any deal is real in syria unless there is an enforcement mechanism that, by definition, doesn't exist. the russians wouldn't allow it. so i think the ongoing theater in syria will have relatively little affect on the nuclear question in iran. >> woodruff: suzanne maloney, how do you see that? >> i think it's appropriate to be skeptical about the short-term prospects of any break through on syria but i think we're seeing a better cooperation between the united
states and russia which can carry over in a constructive fashion to the iran talks. >> woodruff: flynt leverett, what about you? >> i think the reason we have this deal dts we could have had it two weeks ago-- but the united states kept insisting in a very unrealistic way that the resolution include reference to chapter 7 and the point of automatic authorization for the use of force if at some point the united states feels like syria isn't complying. russia wasn't going to agree that, china wasn't going agree to that and, you know, it was really the united states in the position where you had an offer on the table for syria to get rid of its chemical weapons and the united states, because of this very hegemonic position that it took demanding authorization for the u.s. of force was in a position basically of putting that deal at risk. >> ifill: so you're saying once that was removed -- >> the deal was at hand. >> woodruff: so that's happening as a backdrop. we know u.n. security council is meeting on that this evening but we're also here primarily to talk about iran because you had, suzanne maloney, this
unprecedented meeting at the u.n. today between john kerry, the secretary of state, the iranian foreign minister. how serious do you believe the iranians are about wanting a deal on nuclear -- their nuclear arsenal? >> i think, in fact, they are quite serious. perhaps more serious than they've ever been at any point in their history. not simply about trying to get to more progress on the nuclear issue but, in fact, potentially exploring a broader breakthrough with the united states. we are seeing, really, what has come to fruition through the election of hassan rouhani someone who's a moderate intended to unite the government but really to fix a problem. fix this standoff with the international community that has resulted in tremendously severe sanctions and widespread difficulties for the iranian economy. >> woodruff: reuel garecht, how do you look upon this in terms of the iranian point of view? >> well, i think the iranian regime is certainly dedicated to reducing sanctions pressure. i don't think that hassan rue
manny-- who was there from the beginning on the iranian nuclear weapons program-- has any intention what is over of seeing that program, which has been at the core of the iranian military strategy for 20 years-- to give it up. i don't think kammny has any intention to give it up and i don't think the revolutionary guard corps that overseas the program has an intention to give it up. >> woodruff: so this is a pretense? >> i don't think it's a pretense. i think they want to explore the possibilities for making limited concessions and see what type of economic relief they can get. i think it's going to be difficult for the iranians to make substantial reductions in their nuclear program. i think they're probably, contrary to what president rouhani said, he wants to settle this in three to six months. i can see this dragging on for quite some time and i can see the iranians being content with that if they can figure out some means to split the americans from the europeans and get sanctions removed.
>> woodruff: leverett, how do you read the iranians? >> i think the iranians are very serious about doing a nuclear deal along the lines that president rouhani has been outlining. western u.s. especially acceptance of iran's right to enrich uranium under international safeguards in exchange for greater transparency on iran's nuclear activity. but iran has been serious about doing a deal on that basis for years. ayatollah khamenei, the supreme leader, has talked about this being the essential formula for a deal well before dr. rouhani was elected president. the issue is whether the united states, whether the obama administration, is prepared to do a deal on the basis of the non-proliferation treaty, recognize iran's right to enrich and then talk about the conditions under which that happened. >> woodruff: susan maloney, he's saying the question is really more with the americans than the iranians. >> i think that's an unfair characterization of the obama
administration's policy. this was an administration that was prepared to do a small confidence-building move with the iranians in 2009 shortly after the brutal repression of the iranian people in the contested reelection of mahmoud ahmadinejad. the obama administration has sought persistently to get a deal with the iranians. the difficulty -- >> and if they accepted that deal in 2010 -- >> they accepted nothing of the kind. they accepted terms very different than what the administration had proposed. >> it was the amount of -- they were going to do exactly what obama had spelled out in his letters to the brazilian and turkish leaders before they went to tehran. iran took that deal and then the obama administration couldn't take yes for an answer. >> woodruff: finish your point. >> i think the distinction now that we have the most serious set of negotiators from the iranian side and that we have real pressure, real incentive, from their side to do a deal. i tend to be more optimistic than reuel here in terms of the timeline. the iranians want a deal and they want something very quickly. they've made that very clear.
>> woodruff: mainly because of the sanctions? >> and because president rouhani was elected on the promise of improving the economy and iran's status in the world. he needs to deliver. >> woodruff: rule garecht, -- reuel garecht, why isn't that something that's plausible? >> i think because the nuclear program, the nuclear weapons program has been at the very center of the revolutionary mission since the late 1980s. that everyone in the iranian elite has agreed to the need for that program. i think you have broad consensus on that issue. >> woodruff: and the sanctions have not had an effect? >> i think sanctions have had an effect, but i just mention something about recognizing this supposed right to enrichment that the iranians keep talking about. if you recognize 3.5% enrichment-- which is what we're talking about here-- if there is not a drastic curtailment of the production of centrifuges, math will work against you. eventually this iranians will
have the capacity to do a very rapid breakout capacity to weapons-grade enrichment and there will be nothing you can do about it. >> woodruff: let me come back to you, flynt leverett, on the point reuel garecht has made in several answers, that this is just part and parcel of what this iranian regime is all about and that is that they will have a nuclear program. >> a nuclear program is part and parcel of what they're about but it's not a nuclear program that is designed to give them a fabbri fated weapon. they've made very, very clear at the highest levels that they do not want this. this is a political order born out of the revolution, one of whose fundamental goals was to give iran an independent position vis-a-vis western powers, especially united states after iran had been ruled by essentially an american puppet for decades. the promise of this revolution was we will not be puppets again. having a nuclear program that
constrain particularly sensitive dimensions of the program such as iraq heavy water plant do to come online next year. >> woodruff: we know the talks are supposed to continue in govern. susan maloney, reuel garecht, flynt leverett, we thank you all three. >> ifill: now, the value of work, unpaid internships are more common than ever, but are they legal? "newshour" economics correspondent paul solman has the story, part of his ongoing reporting: "making sense of financial news." >> reporter: imagine you're a college student who wants to be in entertainment, and you land an internship at "saturday night live." >> it seemed like a dream come true, i was really excited. >> reporter: or you grew up in a pbs-loving house, and you get to intern for the "charlie rose"
>> it was a really exciting time. i got to meet all of the presidential candidates. >> reporter: or you've been working a humdrum job in financial services, are looking to change careers, and you're offered an internship on a major hollywood feature. >> i thought, "well, this is one of those kind of breaks that may lead to other big things." >> reporter: actually, in all three cases, it led to other things, all right-- other unpaid internships. monet eliastam worked 25 hours a week her whole junior year at barnard for "saturday night live's" film unit. >> reporter: what was the favorite commercial parody that you worked on, or your favorite? >> probably disney housewives. >> reporter: a takeoff on bravo's "real housewives" franchise. >> i'd actually worked before as a paid p.a. on commercial shoots and so i knew that the work i was doing was exactly the same work that i had previously done, except that now i was doing it for free. >> reporter: legally, unpaid interns can't displace regular
paid workers, doing real work for no pay. they're supposed to be learning. and the employer can't derive immediate benefit from the interns activities. >> the financial stress was really difficult. >> reporter: working on the "charlie rose" show, the summer before senior year at wesleyan, was lucy bickerton's third unpaid internship. >> in some ways i was sort of the best case scenario of an unpaid internship-- i actually got a paid opportunity out of it, you know, a year later, after i graduated. but then going on to get paid for that same work, i realized, "why wasn't i getting paid for this before?" >> reporter: how many hours a day were you working? >> oh, normal full-time job. eight, ten hours, depending on the day, 12. >> reporter: eric glatt was 40 years old, had an m.b.a. and years of experience, when unable to find any paying jobs in film, he took an internship on fox searchlight's "black swan." the 2010 film went on to earn $300 million.
glatt earned nothing for hundreds of hours of work as an accounting clerk. >> help manage the workflow and the paperwork, and personnel files and receipts and petty cash, and purchase orders. >> internships have become pervasive in our society. >> reporter: ross perlin is the author of "intern nation," an expose of a system that's come a long way since the word intern was first applied to newly minted m.d.s. >> what started out as a good idea-- the idea that we need to somehow bridge the gap between school and work-- that good idea has kind of gone sour in a lot of ways and interns have been used as a sort of cheap labor force. and it's become exacerbated; really, since 2008, where internships have been coupled with rising tuition, record levels of student debt, high levels of youth unemployment and they've become a straw that kind of breaks the camels back for many people. >> reporter: for eric glatt the epiphany was a "new york times" article: "the unpaid intern: legal or not?"
>> i think i may actually have been sitting at my desk at work and i saw this and it was one of those thing where i was like, "i knew it! i knew there was something illegitimate about this." and it's not just an ethical question, it's a legal question. >> reporter: glatt found a lawyer and took action. bickerton heard about it and followed suit. >> i had no qualms about it. >> reporter: but these people gave you an opportunity. you were thrilled at the time. didn't you feel like you were kind of stabbing them in the back? >> i felt like it was illegal, no matter what. >> reporter: eliastam read about both cases and, live, from new york, filed her own suit in july. >> it just clicked. it's not right and you can do something about it if you want to. >> reporter: and then earlier this summer, glatt won his case, paving the way for a class action against fox. the "charlie rose" show settled with bickerton and about 40 other interns for back pay. it also abolished its internship program. "since they weren't performing work," said attorney lyle zuckerman, "these lawsuits will
do nothing but deprive students of real educational opportunities." eliastam's case is in its early stages. but the news is that nbc- universal has begun paying all of its interns. rachel bien, lawyer for all three clients, says their cases promise not just to help interns, but workers in general. >> if interns are able to get the minimum wage, that's going to help people who are farther up the totem pole as well. >> reporter: and give students who can't afford to work for free a shot at opportunities otherwise out of reach. but at least one former unpaid intern thinks the lawsuits, and their success, is a setback for his generation. >> a lot of these disgruntled interns are really just trying to make a splash in the media. >> reporter: michael moroney works at the franklin center, a conservative group in alexandria, v.a., which has lots of interns, though all of them
paid at least minimum wage. still, he says unpaid internships like one he had with a d.c. lobbyist are win-win. >> because you get tons of new experience and on top of that, you get to make new connections and really build your resume. unfortunately, i think we're moving towards a system where it's not going to be a minimum wage job versus an unpaid internship, it's going to be a system of an unpaid internship or your parents' couch. >> reporter: this, of course, is the standard economic argument against raising the minimum wage: those at the bottom would no longer have any work at all. how does "black swan" accountant glatt respond? >> this is a form of generational exploitation that i think a lot of people fail to appreciate. the millennial generation now is already subject to a social experiment we've never even come close to before, which is the student loan debt burden. at the same time, we've created this other structural practice
of giving away your labor for free. >> reporter: moreover, says glatt, colleges are not only expensive, they're unintentionally enabling the post-graduation jobs crisis. >> they're basically destroying the job market that their students are going to graduate into. >> i was required to pay for an academic credit in order to do this internship. >> reporter: new york university student christina isnardi is trying to do something about the college problem. she also interned on a feature film set, without pay but for one n.y.u. credit, which costs about $1,200. >> they had me sit in the basement of a church, half a mile away from set, watching equipment. another day, they had me press elevator buttons. i was deriving no educational benefit from this. >> reporter: none whatsoever? >> i don't know. i did learn what the bottom rung to the film set is, but i knew that was an actual position that should be filled by an employee who was getting paid.
>> reporter: while she contemplates her own lawsuit against the film company, isnard is leading an effort to get n.y.u. to stop letting employers post illegal unpaid internships on its job boards. >> we said, "look, you're promoting this practice of allowing these companies to violate labor laws and use students for free. so we were hoping that you could possibly take down these internships and replace them with paid opportunities." >> we would love if every internship opportunity is possibly paid. but that's not reality. >> reporter: trudy steinfeld is director of n.y.u.'s career development center. she says the university already vets unpaid internships for compliance with federal guidelines, and strongly urges students to immediately report any that are out of bounds. but she also says that while n.y.u. is taking isnardi's petition seriously, there are too many students who want
unpaid internships to do away with them altogether. >> they feel, particularly if they are first or second year students, that if they don't have an opportunity to sort of learn and get something on their resume early on that it might be harder for them to obtain those really competitive internships at really large organizations or very highly touted organizations later on in their academic career. >> reporter: and that's true, says christina isnardi. >> there's a high student demand for these internships, especially in certain fields such as journalism, or film, or music. >> reporter: sean stanton works in another hot industry these days: organic farming. >> reporter: you have an intern? >> i have several, yeah. >> reporter: do you pay them? >> i pay them a stipend, i feed them and i house them. >> reporter: you could get unpaid interns, couldn't you? >> you might not get the same caliber, the same quality of people. >> reporter: and you might be breaking the wage and hour laws, says attorney bien, which have evolved over the past century to
protect workers and define work in america. >> what the value of work is; that there is a value; that a minimum has been set by the law and understanding how important it is to maintain that, in order for our economy to work. >> reporter: to work down on the organic farm or even perhaps in uptown new york. >> woodruff: now, another in our ongoing series where we try to answer questions about the affordable care act. ray suarez is in charge. >> suarez: tonight, a look at medicare and what private sector retirees might face under the law. for that, we welcome back mary agnes carey of kaiser health news. kaiser health news is an editorially independent news service focusing on health policy.
a lot of people still have very basic questions as to what the affordable care act is going to mean for them. how is it going to change the way they acquire health care? i headed out into the streets of washington, found freedom all over the country still had questions, like this woman from california. >> my name is janet neil son from california, live outside of san francisco. as a senior citizen i'm concerned how the medicare rates are going to be affected. right now i have medicare with keiser as a supplement and i've been satisfied but i'm concerned as to medicare and my insurance company how rates will be affected and how our care will be affected as well. >> suarez: let me add again her insurer, kaiser permanente, is not related to kaiser health news. there must be a lot of people in this boat who are medicare recipients and also acquire some private insurance. >> they do and first i want to add to her concern about
benefits. there will be no benefit cuts in the affordable care act for medicare beneficiaries. there's actually additional benefits. for screenings without co-pays or deductibles, additional help for your medicare prescription drug costs but i think what she's talking about is some concern about payment reductions to medicare providers the law does cut payments to hospitals and home health agencies and other providers over the next decade. but the thought is those sectors can sustain the payments and sustain the medicare program. but there's some concern if the medicare cuts are too deep over time would these providers decide to leave the program? there's no evidence of that yet but that had been some concern. >> suarez: will her medigap costs go up because it's private insurance like that that so many other people buy? >> there's no changes to medigap as part of the affordable care act. those are private insurers as you note so it's hard to know what would happen to medigap.
>> suarez: we have questions that have been coming in over the internet and via e-mail. "will there be age limits on services to patients under the affordable care act? i've heard the for people over 65 they won't be able to get a hip replacement or cancer treatment. is this true?" >> it's not true. there's no age restrictions on anyone to get a medical service. perhaps this person is a little concerned about a new advisory board that's created as part of the health through that if medicare spending be on a certain level this board would provide recommendations to congress on how to control spending. if congress didn't adopt those recommendations they would have to come up with recommendations of their own but it's important to know several things here. no one has been nominated to this panel. they face senate confirmation-- which will be pretty difficult in this environment-- and medicare isn't expected to hit these targets until 2022 or beyond so it's not even a factor yet in any part of the medicare
discussion. >> suarez: there problems for people making the transition from the health care they've had for a long time into medicare? is there -- or do the two mesh up easily when you move from one the to the other? >> many people in their working lives are part of managed care. they're already receiving -- perhaps they have a health maintenance organization or a preferred provider organization. they may be comfortable going into medicare advantage which are the private plans in medicare that provide care to beneficiaries or they may choose to be in medicare's tradition alphie-for-service program. >> suarez: our next person writes:
>> i have a few recommendations here. one thought is could her husband stay on her health insurance plan through a program called cobra? it's fairly expensive and instead of paying a part of the premium you pay the full rate and administrative fee. that's one option. they might also be able to get coverage for her husband on the health insurance exchanges, these online marketplaces created in the health law. and they might qualify for a subsidy based on their income. so they should look into the exchanges for coverage for him. >> well, this is a really interesting question that's caused a lot of confusion. what's happening for the i.b.m. retirees is the medicare eligible retirees are being placed in a private exchange. this has nothing to do with the exchanges created in the health law. i.b.m. and other employers have decided to give their retirees a
set amount of money, let them go into an exchange that sometimes offers more coverage choices for their retirees and let them pick that. again, i want to stress, it has nothing to do with the exchanges in the health care law. >> suarez: so in effect they haven't been thrown into the marketplace that the state of new york will be putting into? >> no, they have not been. these are separate exchanges for this particular medicare eligibility -- medicare eligible population. >> suarez: cobra. is anything going to change about cobra now that the affordable care act is coming fully into force? >> you may have fewer people sign up for it because it is so expensive for the beneficiary and they might get a better deal on the health insurance exchange. >> suarez: mary agnes carey of kaiser health news. thanks for joining us. >> sure. thanks for having me. >> ifill: next, a story of two murders, a conviction, an execution and then an outpouring of sympathy and calls for social justice across social media in china. hari sreenivasan tells the ta
>> reporter: xia junfeng was an unknown and unlicensed food vendor in northeastern china in 2009. but following his execution yesterday by the chinese government, in the last 24 hours, his name became one of the most searched for terms across chinese social media. that's because on her micro- blogging weibo account, his wife, zhang jing, chronicled her emotions at seeing her husband just before he died. "i'm going to see xia jungfeng xia met his wife and mother for a half-hour through a chain-link fence before his execution. when he begged his jailors if he could take a family photo to leave behind as a memory for his son, the request was denied. a photo posted by his wife's family showed a distraught mother. his wife typed: this message, like so many in the campaign, was shared tens of thousands of times.
the troubles began in 2009, when xia and his wife were selling kabobs on the street. they say a gang of chengguang-- government sanctioned urban enforcers-- began beating xia for not having a license. witnesses say they took xia back to their offices, where they continued beating him. that's where xia took out his sausage knife and stabbed three men. two of them died. xia was convicted of murder and his appeals were denied. witnesses were ready to testify that these murders were an act of self defense but were not allowed to take the stand. there have been numerous documented cases of excessive violence and death at the hands of the chengguang. the supreme court in china, which must approve death sentences, stood by the ruling yesterday. more than two dozen human rights lawyers issued a joint statement objecting to the court handing out the most severe punishment, in a case, they say, left much to doubt. >> this is not sentiment on behalf of a pop idol or a well known business person who is the symbol of the new china or
something like that. it's on behalf of a street vendor, not someone who garners a lot of respect in general in chinese society. >> reporter: ken lieberthal is a china watcher at the brookings institution. >> i think it simply highlights demand from below for more accountable, and a more fair political system. >> reporter: last year gu kailiai, the wife of a once powerful chinese politician, confessed to the premeditated murder of a british businessman, yet she will only serve life in prison. that case is being compared to xia's as an example of unequal treatment before the law for the wealthy and well-connected. >> this has become so big in part because it fits so perfectly into a larger narrative. the larger narrative is people increasingly becoming very, very unhappy with the way the system is functioning. feeling it is grossly unfair. and feeling that they deserve better. >> reporter: on social media chinese citizens have felt emboldened to criticize what they see as a double standard
for the underclass. also popular across the chinese internet were images of paintings said to be created by xia junfeng's 13-year-old son, this one of the boy climbing on his father's back. a compilation of these paintings made into a book to help raise funds for the family sold out its 5,000 copies. today xia junfeng's widow, zhang jing, collected his ashes and prepared for a family farewell. >> woodruff: finally tonight, famed musician graham nash has just come out with a new memoir of his life in rock 'n roll, titled "wild tales." in the mid-1960s, nash had numerous number one pop hits with the british band the hollies. he later became part of the supergroup-- crosby, stills, nash and young. jeffrey brown talked with him recently while on a new solo tour at the birchmere in alexandria, virginia.
here's an excerpt of their conversation, where nash talked about some of his famous musical and life partners. >> brown: let me say names at you and give me your impression. stephen stills. >> certainly one of the finest guitar players in the world. certainly --tor a certain -- i think he's a very underrated guitar player. you know, i read the top 50 guitar players in this "rolling stone" and he's somewhere around the bottom and that's just not right. he's an incredible guitar player >> brown: david crosby. >> crosby is one of the most unique musicians i know. when i was doing his box set-- and i did stephen's and i did mine, of course-- i began to realize how unique crosby was. his sense of jazz-- which is one of his first loves-- is -- pervades all his music. and is very different than
graham nash music. somehow it shouldn't works but it really works like a ban did. >> brown: neil young. >> neil young is probably one of the strangest of my friends. he's adamant about following his heart. hi he's serious as a heart attack about his music. he brings a darker edge. i don't mean darkener a negative sense, but more of an intensity to our music. the music of crosby stills and nash born in the summer of love was lighter, sunnier. neil's -- the sun turns down a little when neil comes into the band. >> brown: and joni mitchell. >> joni is in my opinion a genius. she is an outstanding woman obviously very beautiful but incredibly talented when it comes to song writing. she's really painting with words. >> brown: what about graham
nash. what did you bring to all of this? >> wow. what did graham nash bring to this madness? maybe a little stability. i'd been through it all with the hollies. i'd been through the screaming girls and the crowds where you couldn't hear yourself play because of the noise they were making. i'd been through having my clothes torn. i'd been through all that so it was no big deal to me. i went even nervous at woodstock. it was stephen that said he was scared (laughter) >> brown: but you talk about the girls and people ripping your clothes. there's a lot of sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll in this. >> but it's not only that. it's about love and friendship and loyalty and being for your friends when they're obviously hurting. that was one of my main concerns with this book was how david crosby would react. i was brutally honest about it. >> brown: chronicling all his problems.
>> yes, what was going on with him and how it affected me personally. so when i called david and talked to him he said "i did all that, i did put you guys through all that. i did spiral down. every word is true. don't change a word." and it gave me a great sense of relief. >> ifill: you can watch jeff's full conversation with graham nash on the art beat page on our website. >> woodruff: again, the major developments of the day: the senate aimed at a final bill voting the government but house speaker john boehner warned his chamber may reject it unless it strips funding from obamacare. the u.s. and russia agreed on a draft u.n. resolution for disposing of syrian chemical weapons. and nuclear talks with iran resumed. secretary of state kerry reported a welcome change of tone, but he said, "there is a lot of work to be done." and that's the "newshour" for tonight. on friday, margaret warner wraps up the week at the u.n. general assembly. plus, jeffrey brown reports on the resurgence of the nation's first african american public high school. i'm judy woodruff.
>> ifill: and i'm gwen ifill. we'll see you online and again here tomorrow evening with mark shields and ramesh ponnuru. for all of us at the "pbs newshour," thank you and good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> and the william and flora hewlett foundation, working to solve social and environmental problems at home and around the world. >> and with the ongoing support
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from washington. i am katty kay. america and iran hold unprecedented top level meetings as president romani says nuclear disarmament is his country -- rouhani says nuclear disarmament is his country's number one priority. and his pictures capture the faces of a generation. tonight, we hear about a photojournalist known simply as l'americain. welcome to viewers on public television and around the globe. the president of iran has told the united nations that nuclear disarmament is